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Osteo Arthritis

Bhagwati Ayurveda & Panchkarma / Osteo Arthritis

What is Osteoarthritis? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear and tear arthritis, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints — cartilage — wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability to move. It is by far the commonest variety of arthritis. Age, Heredity, usually females, Repetitive stress injuries over the joint, vascular insufficiency or previous disease are the usual causative factors of Osteo-Arthrtis.

Panchakarma Proceudres soothes the joints and also helps improve levels of synovial fluid, making the entire structure lubricated and easy to rotate or to move. These herbal procedures softens muscles, ligaments & tendons. Thus corrects stiffness & rigidity and induces elasticity in body. The massages and the herbal steam done liquifies the morbid Doshas & expels them out with sweat and Recovers Vascular insufficiency of the joints, muscles. Therefore the pain, swelling and discomfort reduces and patient becomes comfortable.

Symptoms

For many, osteoarthritis pain may become markedly worse over time or with specific activities. Characteristic signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Pain

Another common symptom is the pain in the joint that worsens during or after too much movement. The pain may be experienced as dull and aching, or sharp and piercing. In the most severe cases of osteoarthritis, patients may also feel pain when the joints are at rest or only moving slightly.

Inflexibility

Patients may experience loss of full range of motion in the affected joint.

Soreness

The joint may feel tender to touch or with slight pressure.

Experts Advice

Stiffness

A common marker of osteoarthritis is stiffness in the joint that is most pronounced first thing in the morning, or after a prolonged period of inactivity (such as sitting in a car or airplane). The stiffness usually resolves within 30 minutes of light activity, as the joints “warm up” through gentle movement.

Bone spurs

Sometimes, bone bumps – which are points of the bone that grows outward as a result of the joint friction and dysfunction – can be felt under the skin. Bone spurs may also be referred to as osteophytes.

Swelling

The joint may swell due to excess fluid buildup. This type of swelling is clinically referred to as effusion. If the swelling is severe, the joint may also feel warm to touch.

Deformity

In some types of osteoarthritis, the physical deformity may be noticeable. For example, enlarged finger joints may result from the friction causes bony enlargements of the finger joints, or advanced degeneration of knee cartilage can lead to an outward, or bowlegged, a curvature of the knee.

osteoarthritis types, symptoms, prevention

Causes

Osteoarthritis pain is caused by a wearing down of the cartilage that serves as a protective shock absorber between the joints. Cartilage is important for minimizing the impact of everyday activities on the joints, but the intensive use also means that it is subject to high levels of wear and tear.

There is no single known cause of osteoarthritis, but several risk factors can serve as strong indicators for the disease when present. Patients are at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis if they have one or more of the following factors.

  • Too much consumption of food which is dry in nature
  • To eat less quantity of meals which is insufficient for the body for a prolonged duration
  • Too much involvement in sexual activities
  • To stay up late at night and to remain hyperactive without taking enough rest
  • Chronic indigestion and malnutrition
  • Excessive travelling

Treatment

An Ayurvedic Approach to Osteoarthritis Treatment

Ayurveda is a holistic approach to healthcare with roots in ancient India. According to Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis occurs due to aggravation of Vata Dosha and is known as “Sandhivata” (sandhi=joint).

The vata (one of the three bio-regulating principles of the body) is aggravated by various reasons like improper diet, over exertion, injury, exposure to cold & intake of cold items, suppression of natural urges, staying awake at night, stress, depression etc. Apart from these, aging is a primary cause as vata predominance in body increases as age of the person advances towards old age. Individuals with the Vata Prakruti are also more prone for the Sandhivata.

Vata is rooksha (dry) in nature. When Vata get vitiated in any of the joints, dries up the lubricating synovial fluid inside the joint capsule, degenerates the joints and causes the destruction of the cartilage.

Best Ayurveda approach for osteoarthritis

Sandhivata gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But Sandhivata treatments can prevent the progression of the disease, relieve pain, rejuvenates damaged cartilages, and improves the joint lubrication, function & strength.

Sandhivata treatment includes both Samana chikitsa and shodhan chikitsa. Shamana chikitsa includes Ayurveda oral medicines and external applications. Shodana chikitsa includes Ayurveda Panchakarma and Kayakalpa therapies for detoxification and rejuvenation. Healthy diet habits & life style are equally important in maintaining the joint health.

Ayurveda Management:

  • External application of Paste of Medicated powder
  • Dhara or Pouring of medicinal liquids
  • Internal administration of ghee or oils
  • Steaming and other heating procedures
  • Virechana or Medicated purgation
  • Vasthi or Enema like procedure
  • Rasayana therapy

Prevention

  • Doing a regular mild exercise programme to enable the joint to move and prevent further damages. Do not indulge in any hard job which may damage the joints.
 Don’t misuse your joints. Both excessive use and reduced use of your joints is bad for you.
  • Move at least for 30 minutes daily.
  • Weight is a main cause in the destruction of your joints, so keep your weight optimum.
  • While loosing weight, try to increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Don’t go for excessive fasting as it will cause dryness in your body and will increase Vatha.
  • Don’t bear the natural urges of urine and stool, these increase Vatha in your body and is a cause of many diseases
  • Apply the Ayurveda Massage oils prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor to calm down the vatha dosha. After applying the oils on your joints, don’t forget to foment your joints properly